Leading Cook (Officers) Francis Bassett Emms

Leading Cook (Officers) Francis Bassett Emms

Francis Bassett EmmsFrancis Bassett Emms was born in Launceston, Tasmania on 28 November 1909 and joined the Royal Australian Navy in March 1928. 

After initially qualifying as a gunnery rating, owing to failing eyesight Emms transferred to the Supply Branch and was re-rated as a cook in 1938. 

Emms was serving on HMAS Kara Kara during the Japanese raid on Darwin on 19 February 1942.  Emms manned a machine gun during the raid and continued to fire at enemy aircraft even after he was seriously wounded. 

Emms received a posthumous Mention in Desptaches and was cited in the recommendation for his award as probably saving the ship and many of the ship’s company.

In 2011, Emms was listed in the Terms of Reference for the Inquiry into unresolved recognition for past acts of naval and military gallantry and valour. The following link is to Chapter 13 of the Report of the Inquiry which focusses on Emms.

Chapter 13 – Leading Cook (Officers) Francis Bassett Emms


Submissions Received

The Tribunal received 7 written submissions that included reference to Emms.

Submission 86 – Mr John Bradford

Submission 89 – Nowra Greenwell Point RSL Sub-Branch

Submission 99 – Mr Graham Wilson   Annex E Emms

Submission 107 – Mrs Amanda Rawlin

Submission 120 – Guy Barnett 1st part

Submission 120 – Guy Barnett 2nd part

Submission 120 – Guy Barnett 3rd part

Submission 120 – Guy Barnett 4th part

Submission 120 – Guy Barnett 5th part

Submission 120 – Guy Barnett 6th part

Submission 120A – Mr Guy Barnett

Submission 123 – Mr Peter Cooke-Russell, National Vice-President, The Naval Association of Australia

Submission 124 – Mr Richard Pelvin


Photo of Francis Bassett Emms courtesy of The Examiner

by Ken McFadyen
Oil on canvas on hardboard, 1968

RAAF's first operation over North Korea
Robert Taylor
Oil on canvas, 1986